Yves Leterme, the chairman and chief investigator of Uefa’s Club Financial Control Body, has confirmed that English Premier League club Manchester City could be banned from the Champions League amid allegations that it breached Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations.
Leterme said the club will face “the heaviest punishment” if the allegations are proven to be true.
German magazine Der Spiegel last year published a report claiming that the £59.5m (€66.1m/$75.4m) that was supposed to have been transferred to the club from the Etihad airline was in fact paid directly by City’s owners, Abu Dhabi United Group.
Uefa and the Premier League last month agreed to share information from separate investigations surrounding the sponsorship deal between City and the airline. Uefa has been probing whether the actions may have breached FFP regulations.
“If it is true what has been written, there might be a serious problem. This can lead to the heaviest punishment: exclusion from the Uefa competitions,” Leterme said, according to UK newspaper The Telegraph.
Leterme’s comments come after Italian Serie A club AC Milan was last month sanctioned after falling foul of FFP regulations. The club was told that it faces being banned from European competitions for one season if it does not break even by June 2021.